Monday, February 21, 2011

Bill Gothard's Submission Theology

AlterNet has an expansive expose of Bill Gothard, a Christian sect that preaches submission to the man in the family, as the unquestionable authority:

Vyckie Garrison, who runs the website No Longer Quivering, “a gathering place for women escaping and recovering from spiritual abuse,” told me that she and her now ex-husband, although they lacked the money to attend Gothard’s seminars, followed his teachings through his homeschool curricula. She said her husband had believed, based on Gothard’s teachings, that he was responsible for his family’s salvation through the authority he exercised over his family, a role which turned him into a “tyrant.”

That story sounds quite a bit like the same family narrative that has affected many Muslim women whose male relatives or husbands have accepted the more extreme doctrines. The call for "submission" especially recalls the most potent criticisms of Islam.

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